Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Warm, warm, cold

Today's weather was interesting to say the least with both warm and cold fronts passing over the point, warm fronts bringing thunder and lightning to liven up the early morning and a cold front in the afternoon to make sure I didn't get too comfortable out there and start napping. The winds associated started more southerly but were swinging to the west as the day progressed with SW being the most common direction for the day. And is usually the case that meant a pretty good bird day with the total number of birds a bit lower than I anticipated but the highlights were certainly enough to make up for that.

The most unexpected bird title went to a Marbled Godwit that flew into my scope view as I was scanning the point about 8:00 a.m. this morning and landed for a very short time before heading off to who knows where. A close second, and the coolest for me personally, were 2 juvenile Sabine's Gulls which showed up during the first and second hours of the count. The second bird came in along the shoreline and flew across the point into Whitefish Bay.

General waterbird movement was highest in the first couple hours after sunrise with loons and grebes making up a majority of the birds. Overall the most common bird of the day was Canada Goose thanks to several large groups in the afternoon with Red-necked Grebe taking second with 62 birds and Common Loon in third with 56. Red-throated Loons had their best day by far this year with 31 all counted before noon, while ducks were sparse with a few dabblers in the morning and a small scoter movement throughout the day ending with 21 Surfs and 10 White-wingeds. The season's first Cackling Geese were two singles among groups of Canadas this afternoon.

The only other new arrival among the shorebirds present today was a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper while a Black-bellied Plover, 2 American Golden-Plovers, and 18 Sanderlings continued from previous days. A few Common Terns and Bonaparte's Gulls continue around the point and an unidentified jaeger was noted in the haze as one the warm fronts passed through this morning.

Flocks of common passerines were present on the point this morning with Blue Jays, American Robins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Pine Siskins particularly obvious while a few new migrants were seen including a Bobolink and a few Black-throated Green Warblers.

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